Cassandra Allard-Liao (b. 3032— ) was the second oldest child of Justin Allard and Candace Liao, as well as the twin sister of Kuan Yin Allard-Liao. A MechWarrior and career military officer, Cassandra played a key role in the Capellan-St. Ives War before becoming a mercenary.
In 3051, Cassandra accompanied her parents, older brother, and sister to Outreach at the invitation of Jaime Wolf. There, she undertook training and team-building exercises with other heirs to Inner Sphere nations. During what was supposed to be an exercise in team-building among the young royals, Cassandra attacked Sun-Tzu Liao, then the heir to the Capellan Confederation, because the group wanted to use his extra-long fingernails to defuse a bomb. She wrestled him to the ground and threatened to break off one of his nails until stopped by Ragnar Magnusson. Sun-Tzu did nothing to hide his antipathy towards her.
Worried about Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao of the Capellan Confederation provoking the St. Ives Compact into a fight, on 10 August 3060 Duchess Candace dispatched Cassandra at the head of a battalion from the Second St. Ives Lancers to Indicass to rein in the Rubinsky's Light Horse regiment of Khorsakov's Cossacks. Arriving at the Xin Singapore Spaceport on 11 September, Cassandra met Colonel Marko Rubinsky and his son Tamas Rubinsky. The father-and-son duo instantly charmed her. As the representative of the Duchess, Major Cassandra Allard-Liao assumed command of the defense of Indicass.
Using an invasion by a St. Ives battalion commanded by a Maskirovka spy as pretext, Chancellor Liao, acting in his capacity as First Lord, ordered Star League Defense Force peacekeepers to St. Ives worlds. Despite the fact that she was supposed to be there to avoid provoking a fight, Cassandra's aggressive actions when the Second Oriente Hussars landed on Indicass on 1 December played perfectly into her cousin's plan. Though the St. Ives battalion bloodied the Hussars scouts, Colonel Rubinsky pulled his forces back and relieved Cassandra of command once it was clear that the "invaders" were Free Worlds League Military forces operating under the auspices of the Star League. Recognizing that her daughter was in over her head, Candace ordered Cassandra's battalion back to St. Loris.
After the Capellans escalated hostilities on Indicass in January 3061 by picking a fight with the Light Horse, Cassandra felt vindicated, though it was another month before her mother let her leave St. Loris. She raided Milos in March, running up against the Third Canopian Fusiliers, a Magistracy Armed Forces command loaned to the Confederation as part of the Trinity Alliance.
Back on Indicass in May, Tamas Rubinsky began courting her in earnest, despite the tense situation.
The Confederation invaded St. Loris in March 3062, a world that was defended by the Light Horse and Cassandra's battalion of the Lancers augmented by Home Guard forces. On 3 April, Cassandra took her Lancers on the offensive, intent on flanking House Hiritsu and the Third Confederation Reserve Cavalry. A demi-company of Reserve Cavalry over-extended themselves and charged at Cassandra's position, intent on taking her down. She turned her company on them and destroyed the 'Mechs before they could get her. Weeks later, Cassandra planned another offensive action, this one meant to sever the supply lines of the forces on St. Loris and bog down the Teng front. She broke her unit down into companies to hit multiple objectives.
Beginning on 2 May, Thugee followers of Kali Liao used a nerve gas agent taken from Wei to attack "traitor Liaos" in what would become known as Black May. When the Light Horse received word of the imminent attacks, Tamas Rubinsky took his company out looking for Cassandra. A Confederation DropShip attacked the forces as they were linking up. Damaged from the DropShip attack, Tamas punched out, directly into the path of a nerve gas cloud. The younger Rubinsky had been affected by the weapon meant for her. She had to explain the ordeal to his father days later. The neurological damage he suffered would never allow him to pilot a 'Mech again with any effectiveness. On the 18th she oversaw a prisoner exchange with House Hiritsu, though Aris Sung got the better of her when she tried to negotiate a partial withdrawal. By June, Tamas had recovered enough to get around, so Cassandra made plans to relocate the Lancers and stay on the offensive.
Cassandra had relocated to Ambergrist by August and was on Tantara in September. Her work holding the Teng front along the so-called "St. Loris line" allowed Candace to forge a plan that involved abandoning the St. Ives front, including the capital itself, to hold more of the Compact's worlds.
A series of cease fire agreements were implemented and broken beginning in 3063. At the behest of Candace, Kuan Yin negotiated a peace agreement that brought the Compact back into the Confederation as the St. Ives Commonality.
With the war over and the reintegration of the St. Ives Compact into the Capellan Confederation, the Light Horse stayed on in the personal employ of Duchess Candace Liao until May 3067 when they took a contract with the Lyran Alliance. Betrothed to Tamas, Cassandra left with them, taking over command of the first battalion to allow Colonel Marko Rubinsky to create a command company.
After leaving the Confederation, the Light Horse settled in on Blackjack, directly across the border from Clan Jade Falcon. The Falcons took advantage of the chaos caused by the Jihad and attacked in January 3069. The Light Horse initially beat back the Third Swoop Cluster. The following day, the Falcons sent a headhunter unit after the regiment's command staff. Colonel Rubinsky anticipated the maneuver and dispatched Cassandra and her battalion on a similar operation against the Falcon's on-world headquarters. Cassandra surprised the Falcons, who could not defend their base for a full ten minutes. At the cost of two 'Mechs, the first battalion nearly annihilated the Falcon base and supplies. When the Third called in reinforcements, the Light Horse quit Blackjack and retreated to Melissia.
Marriage and children
- Shattered Sphere, p. 73, Major Cassandra Allard-Liao
- Threads of Ambition, p. 35
- Blood Legacy, pp. 17-20, 53-64, 74-76, 98-106, 141-147, 164-165
- Blood Legacy, pp. 223-224
- Threads of Ambition, pp. 34-37, 57-60
- Threads of Ambition, p. 77, 122-127, 131, 179-180
- Field Manual: Capellan Confederation, p. 15, "The St. Ives Conflict"
- Threads of Ambition, pp. 161-169, 188-190, 200-207
- Era Report: 3062, p. 44, "Third Canopian Fusiliers"
- Threads of Ambition, pp. 236-239
- Threads of Ambition, p. 261
- The Killing Fields, pp. 50-55, 67-69, 102
- The Killing Fields, pp. 85-92, 101-105, 108-112, 122, 133-138, 157
- The Killing Fields, pp. 194-200, 251-253, 259
- Field Manual: Capellan Confederation, p. 16, "The Capellan Solution"
- Handbook: House Liao, p. 65, "Standing Firm"
- Field Manual: Capellan Confederation, p. 30, "Rubinsky's Light Horse"
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 98
- Handbook: House Liao, p. 81, "St. Ives"
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 102
- Field Manual: 3085, pp. 117-118
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 160
- Blood Legacy, p. 105
- Threads of Ambition, p. 122